doula

...the pregnant couple's fairy godmother

As a birth doula I am a trained labor support professional who attends to the emotional and physical comfort needs of laboring women so that labor may progress as smoothly as possible. Having no medical tasks to fulfill, I can devote myself completely to the unique needs of the birthing mother. As such, the role of the doula during birth is complementary to that of a midwife or obstetrician. Originally certified through DONA, I am also a certified hypno-Doula so that I can support mommas preparing for birth through HypnoBabies®. I have been helping women living on Long Island, NY and Manhattan joyously birth their babies since 2007. It remains a great honor and a privilege to this day.


My experience with laboring women in just about every scenario affirms over and over again that birth requires we surrender in order to open and allow life to pass through us. When a laboring woman becomes fearful or anxious, her body’s innate wisdom stops the opening and she experiences pain with the added tension of stress. To free her up to continue her work, without unnecessary tensions, mother needs to feel safe, tended to, held. For millennia and across cultures, women in childbirth have sought the reassuring presence of other women whose hands and very being nurture, guide, and support the birthing mother. Today, a doula fills this traditional role.


birth doulaI draw on my professional training and experience to care for you as I:

  • Provide the information you need to make informed decisions as they arise in labor
  • Suggest comfort measures during labor, such as massage, breathing techniques, positioning
  • Lend a calm perspective and reassuring presence
  • Offer guidance to your partner’s hands… his/ her touch with my skill and experience
  • Take the pressure off your partner so that s/he is free to engage at his/her own comfort level
  • Translate medical lingo while in hospital
  • Facilitate communication between you, your partner, and your care providers
  • Initiate breastfeeding and facilitate bonding

 
Studies show that when doulas attend birth labors are shorter, have fewer complications, babies are healthier and breastfeed more easily. 
The Cochrane Review is part of a growing body of research on the effects of labor support with a doula.

partners

Many partners are concerned about what their role will be when a doula is present. Your partner plays an essential role in providing support for you as your partner knows you intimately. I am not there to takeover this role. While I probably know more about birth, breastfeeding, current trends in hospitals and maternity care, your partner knows more about you. S/he loves you more than anyone else. The combined support of partner and doula, along with a competent, considerate and caring staff gives you the best chance of an optimal outcome and a beautiful birth experience.

I know when to step back and allow the couple the privacy they need. I also know how to model what works for a laboring woman, thereby quietly guiding a partner into supporting their beloved with confidence. My couples often say my presence brought them closer through the initmacy they experienced during birth. In short, my role is in addition to, not instead of, your partner.

I have worked with many other family members as well. It is not uncommon to have mothers, grandmothers, sisters and close friends in the labor room. We can make room and honor anyone you choose to invite. It’s your birth so it's important you feel supported.

my birth doula services include:

  • A prenatal visit to explore your priorities and discuss your hopes for your birth.
  • One acupuncture session prior to delivery to aquaint you with how it feels
  • Unlimited support by phone and email prior to labor
  • Assistance in writing your birth plan
  • Being on call for you 24/7 starting at your 38th week until you deliver (including holidays)
  • Continuous labor support at home, birth center, or hospital
  • Acupuncture during labor if you wish
  • Initiation of breastfeeding and bonding following delivery
  • Referrals for all your postpartum needs: postpartum doulas, lactation consultants, support groups.
  • One postpartum visit to process your feelings about the birth and motherhood and to support you in breastfeeding.

 

the process

Please feel free to schedule a meeting with me. As I accept a limited number of women each month, I encourage you to call as soon as possible to assure my availability. Once we’ve met and feel we’d like to move forward in working together I will provide you with a contract that outlines what you can expect of me. At that time, I collect my fee in two separate payments: a retainer and the balance. I hold the balance until after the birth.

About two months before your estimated due date we will schedule our first prenatal visit. We can meet for a second visit, which can include an acupuncture session, at my office after that. And I am available to you with unlimited support by phone and email.

When you are in labor I am prepared to step out of my life on a moment's notice and am committed to staying with you throughout the birthing your baby. I will labor with you at your home, or meet you at the hospital or birth center whenever you are ready and whichever is most appropriate for your labor.

After baby is born I will help you breastfeed your newborn as soon as you and baby are ready. My aim is for you to transition into parenthood with as much joy and ease as possible. Finally, approximately one to six weeks after the birth (it’s up to you) I will come to your house for a postpartum follow-up visit.

 

Additional information